How to achieve more by doing less?
Part 1 - PLANNING
One of the first things to realise is that it doesn’t matter how many “Time Management” articles you read or how many “Time Management” tips you adopt you will never manage time. However, you can learn how to manage your time more effectively and efficiently: you can control how much time you spend on certain tasks; you can control the amount of work you have to do and by working smarter you can achieve more by doing less.
One change that’s easy to make and will have a big impact on how effectively you use your time it to THINK about and PLAN what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it before taking action. In other words don’t tackle a job without a plan of attack.
Here are some easy ways to start planning the way you work:
PLAN YOUR DAY
- at the beginning of each working day rather than diving in head first to all the work you have to do, take a few minutes to think about what needs to be done and what you need to achieve that day. Once you have a clearer picture of what your goals are for the day, you can plan how you will accomplish them - at the end of each day take a few minutes to review your progress. Any outstanding tasks can be added to the schedule for the following day.
WHEN PLANNING YOUR DAY - think about which parts of the day you are at your most productive and creative and plan accordingly. This is when you should be doing your high-value, high-quality work - plan low-energy work (like returning phone calls, responding to emails) for those less industrious times - be realistic when planning the time allowed for each task - make sure you allow time for breaks, travel time etc - don’t plan work for every minute of the day as you need to allow a significant amount of time for “the unexpected” - plan meetings for early in the day because time leading up to them is often wasted - if you have an important phone call to make, an email to write, or a meeting take a few minutes to plan what you want to say, what you want to achieve and what your desired outcome is
Use the same principles when planning ahead. At the beginning of each week, month, quarter etc., think about all the work that has to be done so that you can plan and schedule work in advance. Make sure activities are scheduled in a timely fashion. It’s always better to finish work earlier than required than scrambling to finish everything at the last minute
is so important because it puts you in control of the work that you do and you will as a result accomplish more. Working proactively is much more effective and less stressful than working reactively and not only will your time efficiency improve but you will appear more prepared and professional.
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